Socialism in the Time of Corona

What should we do during the pandemic as socialists? This podcast is based on the premise that our ... more

Latest Episodes

October 30, 2020 00:45:40

E16: Marx 101--Surplus value. With Hadas Thier (45 min)

To help us make sense of Marx’s Capital, and therefore capitalism, Hadas Thier has just published the book ‘A people’s guide to capitalism: An introduction to Marxist economics.’ Its fresh, contemporary prose makes Marx’s concepts more accessible without sacrificing their depth. In this episode we discuss the continued relevance of the concept of ‘surplus value,’ which occupies much of the first volume of Capital. Hadas Thier is a member of the New York City branch of DSA. She writes for Jacobin, In these Times and other publications. Like many New Yorkers, she is also a mother struggling with issues of child care and schooling during the pandemic.     ...


October 18, 2020 01:15:13

E16: The work ahead, no matter who wins. With Sam Gindin (60 min)

Gindin calls on us to transform America whatever the outcome of the U.S. election. We discuss socialist visions, Syriza, racial solidarity in the U.S., and the need for widespread socialist education. Sam Gindin has served as director of research for the Canadian Auto Workers union from 1974 to 2000, and Visiting Packer Chair in the political science department at York University. With co-author Leo Panitch, who appears on an earlier episode of this podcast, he has written extensively about the U.S. state’s role in globalizing neoliberalism. Most recently, he co-authored The Socialist Challenge Today: Syriza, Corbyn and Sanders. He is also a contributing editor of the Socialist Register. ...


September 30, 2020 00:10:36

E15: Trump must go (10 min)

The Trump administration’s naked callousness poses a unique challenge for socialists in the U.S. We’ve accurately described the Democrats’ betrayal of workers, their complicity in the unraveling of welfare and in the sharp increase in income inequality. So now we're finding it hard to assess the differences between the two parties that really matter. But this is just as much our responsibility as is laying bare the limits of bourgeois democracy. Here’s my case for why socialists should organize to defeat the Trump administration in November, with incidental birdsong. Comments welcome Covid mortality projection  Migratory Bird Treaty Act ...


September 13, 2020 01:05:56

E14. In memoriam: Leo Panitch on Empire, Socialism and November

Leo Panitch died recently of covid complications. A few months ago we discussed two issues which Panitch studied and wrote about for decades. First, whether the pandemic has fundamentally altered the geopolitical balance between the U.S. and other great powers, specifically China. And second, how socialists in the U.S. should approach the November elections. Panitch connected the two issues with his usual depth and historical rigor, qualities not always evident in the left discourse on these questions. He will be deeply missed. Leo Panitch was Professor Emeritus of Politics at York University in Toronto. He was co-editor of the Socialist Register and author of several books, most recently Searching for Socialism: The Project of the Labour New Left from Benn to Corbyn, co-authored with Colin Leys and published by Verso. Bernie Sanders' speech at DNC 2020 Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, "Trumping the Empire," Socialist Register 2019.  Leo Panitch, "Class theory for our time," Catalyst 2020. ...


September 13, 2020 00:04:47

E13: When breathing became political (Season 2 opener)

This podcast began during the summer with the premise that the mass death, disease and economic misery caused by the pandemic are themselves political forces. Now, as summer dissolves into fall, these forces are converging with the most consequential struggle for state power in recent U.S. history. My starting point for this second season of the podcast is that we, as socialists in the U.S., have to grasp both the promise and peril of this convergence. To the themes of the first season—labor, unions, protest, socialist education—the fall edition adds electoral strategy, a closer look into the connections between race and class in the U.S., and the pandemic’s impact in other countries.  ...


September 07, 2020 00:09:24

"What is democratic socialism?" (E9 bonus)

This short talk provides one explanation of the term “democratic socialism.” I presented this talk at a regional political education training event in June conducted by DSA’s National Political Education Committee. The talk is best used in conjunction with the specific readings we used, linked below. 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights, from the Bernie Sanders platform; What is Democratic Socialism?, Neal Meyer, Jacobin, July 2018; Building Socialism from Below: Popular Power and the State, Ben Tarnoff, Socialist Forum, 2018 ...